The Slackers - The Cactus Blossoms feat. Jenny Lewis - Tom Jenkins - Colatura
New York City reggae legends The Slackers have released “Hanging On,” the second single from the band’s upcoming record “Don’t Let The Sunlight Fool Ya” which comes out April 15th. This record, their first in 7 years and 15th full-length in their career, is now available on Pirates Press Records’ web store.
“Hanging On” is a mantra that almost every band, including The Slackers, have had to deal with during the pandemic. “Being in NYC in March of 2020 was an experience I wouldn’t wish upon my enemies. People talk about how great it was to get off the road or spend extra time with their family, but I was already tight with my family. We rallied and my apartment became a law office, a college classroom, a recording studio, a mail-order merch warehouse, and a high school classroom. We did what we had to do to keep going,” said saxophonist Dave Hillyard.
The process for bringing this album to life was, by all accounts, one that was met with twists and turns that would make most bands implode. The band used their sound engineer’s house to practice and record while also trying to accommodate everyone’s personal situations. “The main challenge/s we had to overcome in making the record had to do with distance, finding a way to involve Vic and Glen, who live on the West Coast and thus 3000 miles from the rest of the band. We put half the band in one room, half the band in another, we continued to wear masks around each other, put a giant shield around the drums and just hoped for the best. Glen and Vic very graciously gave up their West Coast lives to live at Marc Critelli’s house for 2 months while we completed the majority of the record,” remarked drummer Ara Babajian.
The band previously released an adorable and hilarious puppet video for the title track “Don’t Let The Sunlight Fool Ya.” The song was written by the band after the initial wave of COVID was over but it was certainly not the end of the pandemic.
==========================================================================The Cactus Blossoms feat. Jenny Lewis - Everybody.
Acclaimed Americana duo The Cactus Blossoms have released a new video for the song “Everybody,” featuring Jenny Lewis. The song is featured on their recently released album One Day.
The Cactus Blossoms will also be kicking off the next leg of their U.S. tour on March 19th starting in Red Wing, MN. Jack Torrey, who launched the band with his brother, Page Burkum, writes, “When I wrote the song it was originally from one person’s perspective, but one morning when I was drinking coffee it hit me as a conversation between two people and really came alive for me. I heard Jenny singing it in my head and couldn’t hear it any other way, so I hopped on the phone and called her to see if she’d be interested in singing on it. I’m so glad she was into the idea.”
Page remarks that “We had the chance to open a little run of shows with Jenny a few years ago and to hear her amazing voice and watch her cast her spell over her audience night after night was truly inspiring. She’s a heavy hitter in every way possible so it's a dream come true to hear her voice on one of our songs.”
|Photo - Drew Roxanne|
Tom Jenkins has announced his signing to independent label Xtra Mile Recordings. The ex-Straight Lines frontman has also unveiled the video for new single “Back Roads”, a twinkling, country-tinged track that nods to Jenkins’ rural roots, highlighting the solitude and struggle of the job that has taken lives in the rural community.
Speaking of his excitement around the new signing, Tom says: “I’ve had the privilege of sharing almost my whole journey in music with Xtra Mile Recordings. From the label releasing some of my favourite bands and artists, to eventually putting out my own music as a teenager and through to my early twenties with two Straight Lines album campaigns. I’m very excited to begin this new chapter as a solo artist and grateful to be working once again with a great group of people with a great vision and ideas for their roster.”
Likewise, Xtra Mile Recordings add: “Everyone at Xtra Mile is thrilled to be reacquainted with Tom. We loved Straight Lines and have been floored by his new album. We can’t wait to start the campaign and continue our work with Tom in 2022 and beyond.”
The news comes off the back of successes with his self-released 2019 solo album “Misery In Comfort” and 2020 EP “When The Coal Dust Settled”, a patriotic folk release in support of the victims of the South Wales Valley flood.
Tom Jenkins hails from the high country of the South Wales Valleys, with the ex-coal mining communities and rugged farming landscape forming his identity and ingraining itself in the singer-songwriter’s sound. Born into a hill farming family, a life in music seemed worlds away but somewhere along the line Jenkins’ path changed: at first playing in local rock bands before eventually fronting Straight Lines, releasing albums with his old school friends and touring with the likes of Motorhead, The Presidents of the USA and more.
==========================================================================Colatura - Kids Like Us.
In the midst of their debut appearance at SXSW in Austin, New York City trio Colatura has released their latest single, “Kids Like Us” this week. The track is featured on Colatura’s debut album, And Then I’ll Be Happy, set to arrive April 22, with a hometown performance set for that night in Brooklyn at The Sultan Room.
Discussing the track, guitarist/vocalist Meredith Lampe noted, "This song is about collective family baggage, mental illness, and destructive patterns that can repeat generation after generation. We wrote it from the perspective of one sibling calling another to remind them that they made a pact to never have kids in the hopes of cutting off the negative cycle and to stop passing down traits that they wish they didn’t have themselves. The music video was made by our friend Matt Sklar (of the band Phantom Handshakes) using a collage of footage from each of our childhoods.”
Featuring the triple songwriting attack of Jennica Best (bass/vocals), Digo Degorio (guitar/vocals) and Lampe (guitar/vocals), Colatura has been called, "Fleetwood Mac with shoegaze guitars," by Fadeaway Radiate, and described by Popmatters as, “Drawing on a range of influences from '50s female-fronted outfits to Manchester post-punk and all manner of noisy things, Colatura sounds both of and out of its time, delivering music that seems to have always been.” Sonically, their foot is in a number of genres, writing music that is sometimes dreamy, sometimes heavy, with pop-leaning melodies and post-punk atmospherics.
Formed in 2019, the trio, joined by a drummer live, has played notable shows throughout New York City supporting acts such as Nation of Language, Pom Pom Squad, and Oceanator, amongst others, receiving praise from NYC tastemakers and music blogs alike. The band announced And Then I’ll Be Happy in January, with the single, “Team Sport,” which Brooklyn Vegan called, “a dreamy, warm treat in the dead of winter,” and led Under The Radar to state, “The upbeat surf guitar, blissful washes of synths, and brilliant bursts of melody make for a decadent dream pop reverie, recalling classic influences like Cocteau Twins as well as contemporaries like Alvvays or Yumi Zouma.” They followed with “Scars” last month, leading The Revue to say that Colatura create "melodies that have the same effect of a cool ocean breeze on a hot day.”